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Matthias Breitfeld vs Wolfgang Gunkel
Goerlitz op-16 (1999), rd 3
Slav Defense: Three Knights Variation (D15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: According to Edmar Mednis in "Strategic Chess: Mastering the Closed Game," 7.e4!, followed by White's 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th moves, virtually refutes 6...b6. (Instead of losing a piece at move 11, Black should play 11...h5, allowing 12.Nxg6 fxg6 13.Qxe6+.) At move 6, the unfortunate 6...Bc8 is best.
May-31-10  syracrophy: The best game to demonstrate that 4...♗f5? in this opening is very weak
Aug-03-10  jrichman38: I had similar analysis of a recent tournament game of mine where my coach GM Ronen Har-Zvi found 7.e4!.
Aug-03-10  jrichman38: I believe we found a force win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kbob: To quote directly from Taimanov "The Slav Defense" (1973) "Not 5..., B-B4 as Black has trouble defending after 6. Q-N3, for example; 6..., P-QN3 7. P-K4, PxKP (or 7..., NxKP 8. NxN. PxN 9. N-K5, B-K3 10 B-N5ch, N-Q2 11. P-Q5, B-B4 12. P-KN4) 8. N-K5, P-K3 (or 8..., B-K3 9. B-N5ch, QN-Q2 10. P-Q5) 9. B-N5 KN-Q2 (not 9..., QN-Q2 10. B-KN5) 10. P-KN4, B-N3 11. P-KR4. The relatively best answer to 5..., B-B4 6. Q-N3 is 6..., Q-N3. White still gets the advantage after 7. NxQP, NxN 8. QxN P-K3 9. Q-N3, QxQ 10. PxQ, B-B7 11. N-Q2, B-N5 12. P-QR4 (or 12...,BxNch 13. BxB, BxNP 14. R-R3, B-Q4 15. P-B3 with advantage for white in the endgame) 13. P-K3, NQB3 (13. .., BXNP? 14. RxB!) 14. B-QN5 etc.

I have known all this for decades, but I am embarrassed to say how often I have lost this variation with white. Just tonight my opponent played the simple 7. Bxe4 , which is not mentioned by Taimanov, and I realized I did not know what move order to use.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 4...Bf5 is an attractive-looking, fairly popular, but bad move. Even MVL fell for its siren song in Ding Liren vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2020, losing in 16 moves. After 5.cxd5 cxd5 (MVL tried 5...Nxd5, which also gives White a big advantage) 6.Qb3!, 6...b6?? is the most common response according to ChessBase Online. 7.e4!!, recommended by both Taimanov and Mednis, wins by force (+4.61 according to Stockfish 15, depth 37!), but it's complicated. Opening Explorer shows that the present game is the only one (out of 18 opportunities) in chessgames' database in which it was played. I also played it in, which I will upload.

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